Several Honiton Running Club members took part in the Bridgwater Half Marathon on Sunday, 8th September. For some it was part of preparing for running the Jersey Marathon in October. Esme Wilson was first Honiton runner back in 74th place in 1:41:56 having had a great run. Steve Briggs followed Esme for some time and was next back achieving a great personal best time of 1:42:46 in 79th place. Mark Dallyn was going well until struck by injury which made him limp back in 99th place in 1:48:02. John Burgess was a little disappointed in his time as he had returned to tackle the run after being tripped up last year. He finished 125th in 1:52:35. Jennie Sleeman came in well under 2 hours finishing 144th in 1:55:02. Kathy Layzell was delighted that she had finished in under her target of 2:10 (2:09:17) in 181st place. She could see the time slipping away so sped up for the last 3 miles and managed to hold the pace. She said it was a lovely countryside run passing by some lovely houses! Wendy Williams is one who will be tackling her first marathon in Jersey and she had a fantastic run to knock about 15 minutes of her previous half marathon pb. She came 195th in 2:13:54. The race was won by Tim Vials in a time of 1:21:41 and there were 232 finishers.
Jennie Sleeman of Honiton Running Club spent a weekend in Gronau Honiton's German twin town near Hanover, with Honiton twinners recently and ran a 5K round the outskirts of the town. It was good to represent Honiton and with a time of 24 minutes 10 seconds, first in her age category and 10th woman out of 135, Jennie felt she earned the evening at the wine festival afterwards.
Last Sunday several Honiton runners who weren’t training for the Jersey Marathon decided to head for Powderham Castle for a lovely 10K run through the castle, along the Exe estuary, past lots of deer and up into the woods. It was perfect weather for running and some good times were run. Grahame Reeves was third in 39:00. Roger Saunders was far behind in 37th place at 45:09 but still not a bad time for him as he has been recovering from injury. Graham Rooms was just behind in 51st place at 46:27 which he was also well pleased with.
The Lustleigh 10k takes place on Dartmoor during the Lustleigh Show which this year was attended by BBC Radio Devon. A hot Bank Holiday Monday saw the 131 runners leave the showground at midday for the tough 10k multi terrain trek around Lustleigh Cleave and Dartmoor. Howard Bidmead was the sole Honiton runner. He was having a great run until 9k when he slipped on a boulder and badly sprained his ankle. However Howard still finished 39th overall in a time of 49m 52s. The winner was Tony Hatchard from Exeter Harriers in 38.21.
On the same day, three Honiton runners took part in the Quarryman’s Trail based at Bampton and forming part of Bampton Village Fayre. This is a fairly tough 10k multi-terrain run which starts with a hill which goes on for the best part of two miles. This does mean that there is a fantastic road descent to the finish. Steve Davey was first in for Honiton in a time of 48:35 winning a ‘coffin dodger’ category prize! Steve’s wife, Judy was next back finishing in 53:31 and coming 2nd lady overall. John Burgess was the other Honiton runner finishing about 2 ½ minutes behind Judy and disappointingly for him, slower than last year. Usually the course has plenty of mud but this year the course was dry which should have led to faster times. This is a very low key and friendly event with just 33 runners taking part.
Honiton Running Club’s very own Cotleigh Canters will take place on Sunday, 22nd September. The headquarters is at Cotleigh Village Hall with the first runners setting off at 10.30am. If you are fairly new to running and would like to work towards a challenge, then the 5k would be ideal. For the slightly more adventurous, there is the 10k and there is also a 3k fun run which is mainly for children aged 9 and over although younger children can run with an adult. This is an opportunity for everyone, irrespective of running ability. For further information and to download an entry form for the races, visit www.honitonrc.com. You can also enter on the day if numbers allow.
Honiton Running Club’s Stephen Boyes ran the Salisbury 54321 Trail Marathon on 11th August. His time was going really well until the 20 mile point when he followed 3 other runners who had gone the wrong way. With no marshals and just a few arrows, this was almost inevitable. This added 2 more miles giving Stephen a finish time of 4 hours 9mins and recording a distance of 26.9 miles!
Honiton Running Club was well represented at the Dalwood Fayre 10k multi-terrain race on 14th August. Weather conditions were near perfect and there wasn’t too much mud to be found. The race was won by Tim Lenton of local Axe Valley Runners in 40 minutes 1 second. First in for Honiton was Chris Entwistle who came 4th overall in 43:55. This was his first time running the race and also running for the first time was Honiton’s next finisher, Alisdair Moffett in 5th place in 45:07. Steve Davey followed in 8th place in 47:48 and Tom Bornet is running very well to finish just after in 48:20 and one place later saw Richard Harvey in 50:24. Suzanne Spiller finished just 2 seconds later as 1st lady winning a bottle of wine. Howard Bidmead had a great run to finish 14th in 51:34. Judy Davey and Mark Andow ran pretty much the whole race within metres of each other and there was a great battle for the finish line. Time keepers couldn’t separate the two giving them 18th place in 52:41. Esme Wilson had a great race finishing 2 places later in 54:43 followed directly by Ross Penwill just 7 seconds later and Steve Briggs 16 seconds after him. Mark Dallyn couldn’t get his head or legs round this race at all finishing 26th in 56:03 just ahead of John Burgess in 56:27 and Tim Wigram in 56:52. Linda Pike loves this run and finished strongly in 37th place in 1:04:50 followed by fellow lover of the race, Pete Lyus in 42nd place in 1:06:15. Kathy Layzell enjoys this sort of challenge and came 46th in 1:08:30 closely followed by Carol Turnham in 48th place in 1:11:33. Entries were low this year with just 50 finishers enjoying the delicious curry and chips upon their return.
Six Honiton Runners went a little further afield to Snowdonia in Wales on Saturday, 17th August to take part in the 30th Annual Race the Train from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn Station and back again. This is a very popular event with four races on offer competing against the steam train and all Honiton runners chose the longest being 14 miles of undulating off road running. Runners are set off at the same time as the train and run beside the railway line sighting and hearing the train several times. Unfortunately, none of the Honiton runners actually managed to beat the train although Steve Davey was tantalisingly close. The train recorded a time of 1:48:07 and Steve’s time was 1:48:49. Bruce Strawbridge was next back finishing in 1:55:35. Judy Davey and Howard Bidmead had run the race within spitting distance of each other for most of it and their positions changed several times. Judy eventually got the better of Howard although she was slightly disappointed to have missed out on recording a time of under 2 hours by just 16 seconds. Howard’s time was 2:01:32. Clare Melbourne made it a family affair with her brother and sister in law also taking part. She was the only one to have completed 2 races that day as in the morning she had run with her niece to complete the Toddlers’ Trot. She finished in 2:29:07 with her brother managing to beat the train by an amazing 9 minutes. Tracey Strawbridge completed the Honiton line-up coming just outside the 3 hour mark in 3:02:21. The weather conditions were awful with driving rain and a strong wind blowing against the runners but the race had a bigger than usual field with 935 runners taking part.
Last weekend 4 Honiton runners took part in Le Tour - Exeter. The event involved three events in three days with yellow jerseys for the winners of each stage, plus 'king of the mountains' and 'sprint' jerseys to be won. The first race was a 4 lap, 10k route along the River Exe on Friday evening; the second was an 8k trail route around Haldon Forest (the conditions for which were much welcomed by the runners as they saw rain for the first time in weeks!) The final race was a 5k track race with runners seeded according to their predicted finish times and set off in 4 separate heats. Graham Reeves (although running for SWRR, but deserving of a mention) finished with a total time of 1.32, Tom Bornet finished well in 1.46, Clare Melbourne in 2.20 and Juliet Hall in 2.26. There was also the option to take part in just the 10k race which Mark and Anna Andow took up with Mark finishing in 49.11 and Anna in 1.02. The event was well supported at each stage and runners were awarded with t-shirts, medals and goody bags. Vive le tour!
Last Sunday, Howard Bidmead of Honiton Running Club organised a social event for the Club and other invited runners. The weather was typical for Exmoor being very wet which was disappointing considering the wonderful weather we have been enjoying lately. Nevertheless, 44 runners and several dogs set off from West Anstey Village Hall to run across Exmoor for the 10 mile mainly off road route. The Moor was wet underfoot and by the time runners had completed the distance, they were thoroughly soggy and much in need of the excellent refreshments awaiting them. The event was enjoyed by all who took part and no-one managed to get lost! Huge thanks to Howard (and others he had roped into help) for a thoroughly enjoyable morning. This was the old Yeo Mill Yomp race route and maybe next year Howard will decide to resurrect the race itself.
Last Sunday saw the running of the inaugural Mrs E’s Big Wheeze and the Honiton runners who took part were relieved to find that the morning was slightly cooler than the weather had been during the preceding week. The headquarters of this 6 mile race was at Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School in Uplyme and the route was a mixture of road, woodland and tracks. The race was won in the incredible time of 36 minutes 13 seconds by visiting holidaymaker Tim Harley of Nottingham AC. It’ll be a long time before that record is broken; he was almost 2 minutes ahead of Matt Clist of Axe Valley Runners who finished 2nd. The first runner back for Honiton was Chris Entwistle who finished 5th in exactly 42 minutes. He was followed by Richard Harvey in 8th place in 45:27. Predictably, Steve Davey was next back in 10th place with a time of 46:26. Young Henry Riddle was just 2 places behind in 47:02. Suzanne Spiller was first lady overall and winner of the ‘Queen of the Hill’ collecting a gorgeous bunch of flowers and strawberry wine courtesy of the sponsors. She finished in 14th place in 47:26. Bruce Strawbridge and Simon Spiller came back in 16th and 17th place respectively with Bruce finishing in 48:44 and Simon just 10 seconds later. They had been just feet apart from each other for most of the race and only lost Judy Davey during the last mile. Judy finished as 2nd lady overall and 19th place in 50:02. Both Judy and Steve were first in their age categories winning a bottle each. John Burgess completed the Honiton line up but he suffered with the heat and a recent cold. He finished in 32nd place in 59:21. There were 42 finishers but hopefully next year there will be more as everyone who took part thought it was a cracking event with great marshals and brilliant organisation.
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Honiton Running Club had a great turn out for the second Colyton Rebel Run last Wednesday evening. This is a 10k moderately challenging multi-terrain race based at Colyton Grammar School. The temperature didn’t seem to have dropped at all from the heat of the day which probably accounted for a reduction in numbers from the first running last year. The running terrain was completely different as last year saw runners wading through mud and the scheduled run around the school’s grass athletics track was cancelled. Not so this year; the ground was hard and not a globule of mud to be seen. Matt Clist of Axe Valley Runners won the race in 36 minutes 17 seconds and first home for Honiton was Chris Entwistle in 7th place in 41:20. Richard Harvey led the next 3 Honiton runners home coming 13th in 44:58 with Steve Davey only 8 seconds behind and Richard Harris only 18 seconds behind Steve. Suzanne Spiller was next back in 19th place and 3rd lady overall in a time of 47:02. Tom Bornet put in a welcome appearance having been absent from the club for a while. He had a great run coming 21st in 47:30. He was followed by Bruce Strawbridge who came one place and 21 seconds later. Bruce had overtaken Howard Bidmead in the later stages of the race and Howard finished 24th in 48:09.Judy Davey was next back in 28th place in 48:58. Mark Andow, Steve Briggs and John Burgess had a tussle during the race with the final positions being Mark 33rd in 50:13, Steve 35th in 50:45 and John 40th in 51:19. Esme Wilson struggled in the heat but came 43rd in 52:23 followed by Pippa Westall who finished in 47th place in 53:44. Pete Lyus just wanted to run continuously for 10k and this he managed coming 72nd in 1:03:52 with Wendy Williams taking the next position in 1:04:34. Carol Turnham completed the Honiton contingent coming 75th in 1:05:51. There were 80 finishers.
Honiton Juniors were also out taking part in the 5k race which forms half of the 10k route. The talented youngsters in the form of Iain Ross, Florence Swan and Rowan Westall showed the rest how it was done. Iain won the race in 24:27 with Florence coming 8th overall and 1st girl in 28:38. Rowan finished the line-up coming 9th in 29:04. There were 25 finishers.
Thanks to the PTA for marshalling and providing cakes at the finish and also AVR for helping organise the event.
On Saturday evening four Honiton Runners headed to Dartmoor to run the Haytor Heller run. It is a 6 mile tough off road run that starts halfway up Haytor, heads along and up Hound Tor before a nice but rocky descent. Then a final climb up Haytor leads to a downhill finish. The weather was hot but there was a welcome breeze. Ian Stewart was the first Honiton runner in coming 16th in a fantastic time of 46.58. Howard Bidmead and Steve Briggs had a battle with each other on the downhill finish ending in a photo finish with Steve winning the battle by a second. He came 98th in 60.49 and Howard 99th 60.50. The final Honiton runner and the only female was Olivia Higginson who hasn’t raced since March. She was happy to finish in 72.47 and 176th. The winner was Jamie Parkinson in an amazingly fast time of 39.58. There were 235 runners.
Honiton Running Club’s own Blackdown Beauty took place last Saturday around the Blackdown Hills’ countryside. It was the hottest yet, with temperatures reaching close to 30 degrees. With runners setting off just before midday, the heat of the day was a particular challenge this year. The main choice of routes was either 18 miles or 10 miles with runners able to pick which points they ran enabling them to run a distance of their choice. The base was at Priors Park Farm, Culmhead courtesy of Jim Hill and family. The long route took in 4 pubs as well as a cream tea taking runners to Pitminster and then on to Clayhidon before a visit to Pear Tree Cottage, Stapley for the delicious cream tea, appreciated by all. Almost as welcome as the tea was the sprinkler system where runners took a welcome shower. Thank you to the Parry family for the use of their gorgeous garden and all the ladies of Smeatharpe WI for making the scones and serving welcome cups of tea. Once fed and watered, runners went on to Churchinford before running back to base. Runners were invited to dress as Dr Who characters to celebrate its 50th anniversary, as a superhero or another fancy dress costume. As it was so hot, some runners chose their fancy dress costume as an athlete! Thanks to everyone who helped in any way as well as all the landowners. Special thanks must go to John Burgess who has given up many hours of his time organising the event in so many ways including tirelessly investigating possible routes, visiting landowners and publicans as well as coordinating everyone else involved. Also Jim Hill for giving up part of his farm for the day by providing the ideal base for the run including a barn for the post race barbecue with plenty of shade.
On one of the hottest days of the year so far, ten Honiton Running Club members took part in the 30th anniversary Charmouth Challenge last Saturday which is the most southerly fell race in England. The race is just under 8 miles and after a fast flat start runners are taken up Stone Barrow Lane which is a gruelling climb of about a mile rising over 120m.Once at the top runners go out towards the sea where the views of the Jurassic Coast are breathtaking. The course then undulates until the 140m climb to Golden Cap. Runners have forgotten the views by then but are treated to an equally stunning sight once the summit is reached. There is terrain for everyone with road, fields, woods and cliff tops. The only thing lacking this year was the usual mud.The race was won by Ceri Rees in an amazing time considering it was so hot of 51 minutes 56 seconds. First back for Honiton was Chris Entwistle who was attempting this race for the first time finishing in 26th place in 1:04:10. Richard Harvey was next back having had a great run to come 38th in 1:07:14. It was also Hadleigh Davies’ first Charmouth Challenge and he also had a fantastic race finishing 43rd in 1:08:52. Steve Davey was next back coming 48th in 1:08:52 having battled with both Richard and Hadleigh during the race. Bruce Strawbridge hasn’t raced much this year but he felt strong and was pleased with his 68th place in 1:12:34. Mark Dallyn finished next coming 94th in 1:16:05 having overtaken Judy Davey at about mile 6. Judy found the first half of the race alright but then found the heat sapped all her energy climbing Golden Cap. She finished 112th in 1:17:19. Howard Bidmead had given Judy a run for her money over the first few miles with positions changing frequently. He also suffered during the second half and finished 123rd in 1:18:55. Mark Andow struggled throughout finishing 168th in 1:25:44 and the Honiton line-up was completed by Katy Campbell who finished 185th in 1:27:55. There was an excellent turnout of 265 runners.
Honiton Junior members took part in the 2 ½ mile Mini Challenge seeing Henry Riddle come 2nd overall in a great time of 22 minutes 24 seconds. The Juniors were also taken up the gruelling Stone Barrow Lane although spared Golden Cap. Arthur Heeler-Frood was 9th overall in 24:13 and Flo Swan was 1st girl back for Honiton in 10th place in 24:38. Sam Taylor was next back in 12th place in 25:27 followed by Hope Horsfield who came 16th in 27:36. Iain Ross would usually have been one of the first few back but he was sent the wrong way by a marshal. He ran up an extra section of a hill before having to run back down to continue the correct route .He was given a position of 30th place in 35:55. There were 34 finishers.
Once back at Charmouth School runners were treated to a welcome hosing down and a Fete put on by the School where delicious and welcome refreshments were on offer.
Several Honiton Running Club members took part in the Over the Hill and Farway 10k organised by Farway Primary School last Sunday. The figure of eight loop includes the notorious Warren Hill which has a total climb of 432 feet. This is completed within the first 3k of the race and the first male and female to the top are awarded a very well deserved prize for King and Queen of the Hill. This year these prizes were awarded to the male and female winners of the whole race; Tim Lenton and Amy Greenhalgh both of Axe Valley Runners.
Chris Entwistle was first back for Honiton in a time of 42:46. He finished 4th overall although he was 2nd at the top of the hill. Richard Harvey was next back in 46:28 in 7th place with Steve Davey, as usual, not far behind finishing 24 seconds and 2 places later.
Suzanne Spiller was first Honiton lady home and 2nd lady overall finishing in 12th position in a time of 47:27. Richard Harris whipped up the hill but couldn’t sustain his position and eventually finished 15th in 48:48. Julie Payne has had the best part of a year off running but finished strongly in 17th place in 49:41. Tim Wigram was racing in a Honiton top for the first time and managed to beat his time of last year by about 2 minutes. He was 18th in 50:23 followed by Judy Davey in 50:34 who he had overtaken in the last 200 metres. Mark Andow had managed to keep with Judy until the 6k marker and didn’t finish too far behind in 22nd place in 51.35. John Burgess has had an enforced rest from running for a few weeks and is struggling with his fitness but he finished a very creditable 28th in 54:18. Val Hales has run very little recently but she has run this race before and enjoyed it so she thought she’d give it another go. She finished 47th in 1:10:42. There were 51 runners. Thanks to the marshals, organisers and cake makers for a great event.
Further afield but still in Devon, ten Honiton runners braved the early start time of 9am to do the Torbay Half Marathon. The race starts and finishes on the sea front Eastern Esplanade, Paignton. It is a two lap course with one anti clockwise starting lap around the green before heading to Torquay. Weather conditions at the start were grey and overcast but did improve with the sun coming out by the time the runners got to Torquay on the first lap. First home for Honiton was Vernon Gillard in 1:35.15, next home was Mark Dallyn in 1:45.20, followed by Lesely Crocker in about 1:50:00, Jennie Sleeman 1:55.01, Kathy Layzell 2:09.56, Joanne Davey 2:10.32, Wendy Le Masurier 2:11.01, Clare Melbourne 2:15.20, Kelly Allison who was running her first half marathon in 2:18.42 and Wendy Williams 2:31.08. The race was won by Boniface Kiprop in 1:05.20. There were 1538 runners.
On the same day, Stephen Boyes took part in the Cheltenham Challenge along the Cheltenham Circular Footpath which begins and ends at the Racecourse. Participants can choose to walk or run any or all of the four sections. Of course, Stephen chose to run the whole route making a marathon distance of 26.2 miles completing it in 4 hours 10 minutes. A great effort!
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